September 14, 2020 @ 9:36 by Steven Hugill
A mum-of-two is headed on a new career path after using the COVID-19 lockdown period to launch a dreadlock business.
Aiysha Homer has set up Dreadsrock.
The 40-year-old, from Peterlee, east Durham, had been working as a school lunchtime supervisor, but yearned to nurture her passion for creativity while making some extra money.
Keen to make a change, Aiysha approached East Durham Business Service for advice.
Initially, Aiysha, who suffers with dyslexia, thought about starting a cleaning business.
However, during a session with adviser Hina Joshi, she identified a gap in the market to make and sell dreadlocks, which was something she already enjoyed doing.
Aiysha, who also has a 14-month-old granddaughter, said: “I loved my job, but money was so tight, and I wanted to do something that was more inspiring but that could also earn me more money.
“I am such a creative person and thought there must be something that I could do that would get me where I wanted to be.
“I had been wearing dreadlocks myself for a while and when Hina and I sat down and had a chat about what might work in terms of a viable business, we discovered there was a gap in the market for such a venture.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been getting everything ready for the business to launch, and now, thanks to the great support I’ve had from Hina and East Durham Business Service, I have formally registered Dreadsrock.”
Aiysha makes her dreadlocks on wooden table clamps using a backcomb and a wig steamer, with styles ranging from twist dreadlocks from single decorated dreads with beads, to double ended and single ended dread sets.
She plans to introduce crocheted dreadlocks once the business is established.
Her market includes people who don’t want to dreadlock their hair, those who follow specific styles such as goth, steampunk or boho, and people who want dreadlocks as a one-off for festivals and fancy-dress events.
Hina, business adviser at Novus Business Centre-based East Durham Business Service, said: “It’s such a unique business that Aiysha has launched and I’m delighted we’ve been able to support her to get everything set up for it.
“She’s certainly done her research and is so passionate about what she does that I’m confident she can make a success of it.
“It’s also fantastic to see new businesses being launched during a period when so many firms have struggled.
“Hopefully, we’ll continue to see other new ventures get off the ground over the coming weeks and months and lockdown restrictions continue to ease.”
Aiysha received help from East Durham Business Support through the Enterprise Support in the North East European Regional Development Fund programme.